EMMERSON Boyce admits Wigan Athletic learnt from their past mistakes to book their place in the final of the FA Cup for the first time.
The stand-in skipper was his usual reliable self as Latics saw off Millwall 2-0 to set-up a return trip to Wembley in a month’s time.
A goal in either half from Shaun Maloney and Callum McManaman was enough for Latics, who bossed the game from the outset.
It was a similar scenario to their previous Premier League outing, the 1-1 draw at QPR, when Latics controlled the game against their 10-man opposition but couldn’t translate their dominance into goals.
But Boyce felt their experience at Loftus Road help Latics to negotiate another tricky test in the shape of Millwall.
“We always knew it was our game to lose, and it’d come down to how we played on the day,” Boyce told the Evening Post.
“We learned a lot from the QPR game the week before, about the need to be patient when we’re moving the ball around, and this time we managed to get the goals that we needed.
“This time we managed to get the early goal through Shaun, and that settled us down a lot.
“Millwall were always going to make it difficult for us, and they came at us in the second half and we really had to dig in.
“But we stuck in there, secured the clean sheet and we’re in the final.”
Wigan’s impressive recent run now stands at one defeat in eight matches, ahead of back-to-back away games at Manchester City and West Ham.
But Boyce says the squad is ready for the challenge of playing every three or four days between now and the end of the campaign.
“In the last few games we’ve really showed the togetherness in the squad, the team spirit and the fighting qualities we have,” he recognised.
“We’ve obviously got to be careful not to get carried away, and concentrate on the league games we have left.”